We All Have Needs
Many fitness professionals are squeamish when it comes to sales. After all, you pursued a fitness career because you love to work out, and you want to share the benefits of good health with others. But like it or not, sales is an inherent part of the fitness business. Without sales, there would be no clients. Rather than dreading the sales process, think of it as a way to understand your potential clients’ needs, so you can better serve them.
The More You Know
A critical step of the sales process that is often neglected is the needs analysis. Each potential client has agreed to meet with you because they have unfulfilled needs that they hope you can help them satisfy. You do yourself and your client an injustice when you make assumptions about their needs, based on their appearance, demographics or fitness level. Conducting a needs analysis requires digging beneath the surface to discover what has driven your potential client to inquire about your services.
Trust is a Must
Poor health and low levels of fitness are often symptoms of more deeply rooted issues. Physical, mental and emotional pain often lurk below the surface. Stress, family and work dynamics, relationship status and other issues can be drivers of self-neglect that profoundly impacts health. Yet these factors are sensitive and personal in nature, and most people will be reluctant to reveal them to a relative stranger. Therefore, establishing trust is fundamental to uncovering a client’s needs, and trust is most easily earned by attentively and empathetically listening to what your prospects are telling you.
Yours for the Asking
To build trust and get to the heart of you prospects’ needs, ask specific open-ended questions. Start with simple questions like, “What motivated you to meet with me today? Have you ever worked with a trainer before? What type of exercise do you do now? What is your past experience with fitness?” Once you prime the pump to get them talking, ask for more details: “What do you meant when you say you feel tired? How does being overweight affect your relationships? In what ways do you think getting in shape will change your life?”
An Open Door
Getting your client to reveal their needs will open the door for you to genuinely be able to help them, with empathy. The needs analysis will provide specific information that you will need to help your clients overcome their innermost obstacles to achieving fitness and health. When they sense you really care about them and their needs, they are more likely to buy what you are selling.
A positive mindset is key to business success, and feeding your brain with continuing education will help keep you focused and motivated. W.I.T.S. offers many courses geared to Business, Sales and Marketing, all specifically designed for fitness entrepreneurs. Sink your teeth into a new certification like Fitness Management, Older Adult Fitness, Youth Fitness, or Lifestyle Fitness Coaching. Beef up your Social Media skills with our Social Media Marketing series. Or dive into our Business and Marketing Success series to learn savvy skills for business success.
Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net: imagerymajestic; Danilo Rizzuti.